Today's discussion:

Justin Trudeau’s well-rehearsed testimony reassures no one

Trudeau and company put on an hours-long masterclass in delivering a droning, legalistic message whose technical accuracy aimed to divert attention from the latest and most important controversies damaging their aging Liberal government. The results were less than reassuring.

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Michael B

He stated in an interview some years ago that he saw his role as PM as ceremonial. That alone explains much.
As long as political parties permit non-citizens to become members, work on election campaigns, vote for riding officials and have a say in choosing party leaders as well as riding candidates you will have foreign interference. All that it requires is for those individuals to be organized and directed.

12th April 2024 at 8:13 am
Kim Morton

Trudeau lies to voters on a daily basis. What makes anyone think he would change how he operates just because he is “under oath”?

12th April 2024 at 11:34 am
PH

Trudeau may appear confident and smirking during testimony but if you look closely and catch his face at the right angles you will see new folds that are appearing and creases around his eyes and on his face. All this negative attention is finally getting to him, there is hope for Canadians yet!

12th April 2024 at 9:42 am
Gord Edwards

There has been a lot of focus on Trudeau’s skepticism regarding the intelligence relating to foreign election interference. This is summed up in the statement that “Intelligence is not evidence”. But intelligence is based on evidence, the level of confidence in the conclusions varies with the amount and quality of the evidence intelligence services have been able to gather.

The question that comes to mind is – Is he as skeptical of intelligence when it aligns with his ideology and interests? Such as reports of the dangers of ‘far right’, ‘anti-gender movement’, etc.

12th April 2024 at 9:29 am
A. Chezzi

It doesn’t matter what Trudeau said. Con would never be pleased. Con are twisted in their thinking. They want small government but they want control over everything. They fight for individual rights but stomp over the rights of anyone not aligned with their ideology. They say leave decisions to the smallest unit where people know best as long as Con interests are front and center. So, there is no pleasing Con. They will twist whatever is said to fit their agenda.

12th April 2024 at 8:38 am
Paul Attics

It sounds like the argument here is “because everything is criticized, all criticism can simply be dismissed”?
You are correct that the PM would be criticized regardless of his testimony, but there is a serious and ongoing issue and a reasonable argument that the government has not responded at all, let alone adequately. The Prime Minister has certainly not been consistent on his varied responses to date.

12th April 2024 at 9:16 am
Gail

Trudeau is possibly the best con man in a powerful position, a very scary time for Canadians.

12th April 2024 at 12:08 pm
Scott Ecclestone

Trudeau said what I expected him to say. What I would have expected a PM to say if I’d been told that this was going to happen ten years ago and given no details.
(1) What passes for human intelligence is typically only gossip. It seldom reaches the level of reliability required by a court, and usually doesn’t reach the level one would consider actionable. With respect to Han Dong there were assertions made by a Chinese diplomat and heard by CSIS but no physical evidence that it was true. Historically politicians use spies but don’t trust what the spies tell them, and that distrust is earned. Human intelligence is unreliable. I’m sure that CSIS was telling the truth but wonder if the Chinese diplomat was. If you have been paying attention to the China of Xi Jinping you know that he has surrounded himself with yes-men who tell him what he wants to hear. I’m sure that Chinese diplomat believed that he would want to hear that he had successfully interfered with a Canadian nomination, and it didn’t hurt him that there was no way to check on the truth of that statement.
(2) The government’s hands are tied revealing much information because to tell Canadians is the same thing as telling China what we know and how we know it. That is tantamount to blowing up CSIS. While I’m skeptical about CSIS, like many I figure that we’re better off having it.

Of all that I’ve heard in this inquiry and the David Johnston inquiry before that the most concerning matters relate to CSIS and not China. When Harper was PM CSIS regularly gave the PMO a voluminous “briefing” that lasted the better part of a day and contained lots of detail and little analysis. Harper’s people were stressed. They felt obliged to attend and pay attention but had no idea what to do with all the data they were being given. It wasn’t information, it was obviously data, and they weren’t data analysts.

When I ask myself why someone in CSIS leaked this gossip I have to ask myself if it was all about personal ambition. It seems clear that CSIS people probably felt like the Harper government paid closer attention to them, and in the long run attention is proportional to funding. Furthermore, the leaker may have felt like it was time for a distraction. In the matter of the two Michaels one Michael sued because he felt like Canada’s spies had set him up to be targeted by China. Does the settlement paid by Canada mean he was right, or just that the government wanted the matter to go away? I don’t know I any better than you do. I do know that our inquiry is talking about what the government knew and not about whether CSIS threw a Canadian citizen under a Chinese bus.

12th April 2024 at 4:47 pm